Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 5

Salem's reputation is always of interest, but it is even more so at this time of the year. We stop to take a look at the events related to witch trials, from the perspective of those who were there and whose descendants, in these current times, are spread far and wide.


In the issue, we look at how some descendants have worked to establish Memorials in the area. For instance, the TerCentenary Memorial, put into place in 1997, was re-opened in September of this year after being closed from some refurbishment. The dedication ceremony was attended by members of The Associated Daughters of Early American Witches (ADEAW). The group was founded in 1987 for those women who directly descend from someone who was accused during that time. Those accused were both women and men.


John Goff writes about his preservation efforts for the Pioneer Village in Salem which was built for the 300th anniversary of the founding. See Vol. II, No 4 for a look at Dow's work. George Francis Dow included a replica of the Great House (Cape Ann) that was moved to Salem by Endicott in the village (Pioneer Village) put together for the 300th anniversary of Salem around 1930.

John also did preservation work in the area of the Corwin House (2009,, which is of interest to the theme of this issue. This house is one of the few remaining artifacts that can be associated with the period. In his book, John describes nicely the area of Naumkeag (later Salem), before the advent of the English planters in order to establish the fact of long time occupation. In fact, the area was frequently used by the American Indians for catching and handling seafood. John's book looks at the families who were involved with the house or who lived in the immediate area.

We will look further at what we can learn from John's book. He makes a brief mention of Rev. John White. As well, John wants us to better understand the American Indian frameworks (see King Philip, for example) in order to improve our appreciation.


The current issue also takes a look at the fact that current descendants may have a mixture of lines, basically being an offspring from those who were in most of the roles that were played out during the unfolding of the mania. That, of course, includes those who were critical from the beginning and who were of sufficient authority to speak out (unfortunately, the Court did not listen), as well as those who were accused and, even, those with official duties. So, we ought to consider the types of roles played and what they might mean. Many of those who were jurors later apologized, deeply. And, there was official cleansing of those accused, albeit for some not until the 20th century. Finally, we always must remember those executed and the meaning of their lives.


See Vol. II, No. 5 of Gardner's Beacon for these considerations of the events of 1692, at Salem and its surrounds.

References: See References, Vol. I., No. 4, Goff ... Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity ... , Linder ... Salem Witchcraft Trials, 1692 ...,   


09/19/2018 -- Pulling together the posts related to the witch trials for future discussion. 

10/30/2013 -- I am in the process of reading Katherine Howe's book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. Dane, as in being related to Francis, of course. I wondered if there would be motivating material for a Beacon issue (we did have 1692 as a theme in 2011 and 2012 - we'll do a post on this subject sometime other that the Halloween period). It is an interesting plot, especially the balancing of the characters, and their interactions, in two time periods is nice. The description that Katherine provides of little Dorcas Good in the underground cell surely depicts the poor, young thing's misery and shows Katherine's grasping of the horror. One wonders, from some of the modern views and comments, if people really understand the dire situation. Too, the main hypothesis might have some truth, in a slightly altered construction. You see, science has not shown as much light on human matters as some might think. But, then, for any knowledge that we have gained, we have also seen that the unknowns do not diminish. It's just that we get better able to cover (as in, remove from awareness) the holes in which lurk the demons.

09/03/2013 -- Boosted up the font on the image caption after reading of Rev. Francis Dane's extended family and their ordeals.

02/10/2013 -- Fan-in from the turmoil of all types of ancestors.

01/26/2013 -- Updated this post to add reference to Sarah Solart Poole Good and her four-year old daughter, Dorothy. The tot was imprisoned and interrogated by the idiot elders. Sarah was one of those who were executed.

10/29/2012 -- See Afterthoughts & Modifications.

10/29/2012 -- Imagine a meeting.

Modified: 09/19/2018

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